The challenge of lack of social connection at work has come up in almost every training session that I have delivered since March. Working from home and reduced office time definitely offers many benefits but also directly impacts our social connections with others at work. Being proactive in creating and maintaining those connections has been important and will continue to be important for us all.
As humans, social connections play an important role in a person’s physical and mental health. Spending time with family and friends, taking part in group activities or having a sense of community all contribute to our social connections. Some of us need more regular and wider connections than others but nevertheless research has shown time and time again that positive social connections are important for us all.
Social connections enable us to cope with stress and pressure, inspire us to grow and develop, and provide us with a sense of belonging. With this in mind, positive social connections play a key role in the workplace. And yet we have seen this hugely impacted and disrupted this year due to the lockdown and working from home. Some people have felt the pain of this more than others.
Your ‘Power Team’
One of the topics that resonates with many delegates is the ‘Power Team’. The concept of a ‘Power Team’ is that you have a collection of 5-10 individuals that support you in your work life to help you stay focused, positive and driven. Your chosen individuals inspire you, lift you, challenge you positively, understand you, want the best for you and ultimately you feel positive after every interaction with them. They don’t have to be in your workplace to be in your ‘Power Team’. They can be family members, friends, old work colleague, mentors, anyone that impacts you positively at work.
Often we can think of 2 or 3, or maybe 4 individuals that are in our ‘Power Team’ straight away. It is worth considering who is in our team and who would we like to be in our team? I shared the ‘Power Team’ concept in a training session recently and in the following session, one of the delegates told the group how she had reconnected with an old work colleague from her previous role. They ended up on the phone for a few hours and she said that she felt so positive and re-energised after the call. She made the promise to herself to continue the regular connection with her ex-colleague and also to consider who else she would like in her ‘Power Team’. Another delegate shared that he makes time to catch up with someone from his ‘Power Team’ before or after difficult or potentially stressful work meetings.
More than ever, social connections and our ‘Power Team’ are important as we continue to adapt to change and continue to work remotely with less time in the office.